02 Nov Care homes: A need to consider the design and tran
Care homes: A need to consider the design and transition to a new environment for the elderlyOutline.Care homes: A need to consider the design and transition to a new environment for the elderly:Transition to care home- change in environment (positive, negative)City vs. rural locationOpportunities for physical activity/gardeningFamily -social isolationIntergenerational activitiesRestorative effectConclusion:Care homes: A need to consider the design and transition to a new environment for the elderly:Introduction:As seen in environmental psychology, the external environment plays an important role in people’s behavior, thoughts and even well-being. In environmental psychology, the environment encompasses the natural, social, learning and informational environments. Every person has a preferred environment in which his or her health and cognitive abilities develop. This is what is referred to as the preferred place. This includes built and natural environments around us. A person will always link certain feelings to a certain environment. These may be good or bad feelings and staying or even visiting such a place will enhance these feelings. The elderly are sensitive to the environment and changes to their preferred place may lead to undesirable outcomes (Ulrich 1984). Those living in care homes are especially sensitive to the environment around them. Therefore, there is the need to consider the design of the care homes in order to suit the needs of the elderly.Discussion:Transition to care home- change in environment (positive, negative)A person living in a place that conjures bad feelings may be helped by moving to a preferred place. The new place must have the right natural and social environment to suit the needs of the individual (Herzog & Barnes 1999). An elderly person living in a big house all alone may want to leave and move to a place with more people. This is a change in the social environment, which may be helpful to the person. If they are moved to a care home with a lively social environment, the person is likely to get better and regain physical strength. When combined with a serene and preferred natural environment, the care home proves to be a positive change in their lives. However, if an elderly person is moved from their home through coercion, the environment in the care home may not be helpful to their health (Hartig 1993). In fact, the person may exhibit negative progress. It is important to consider the preferences of the elderly person before taking them to a care home. This is mainly because they may develop mental health like depression if the care home environment is not suitable to their needs.City vs. rural locationApart from having effects on the health of the elderly, the care home environment can greatly influence their behavior. The environment has a big impact on a person’s moods and their reactions to different things (Bunce 1994). A person who is used to a serene and peaceful environment is likely to exhibit mood swings when taken to the busy city life. A care home located at the city centre may possess a non-conducive environment for the elderly. The noise and pollution related to the city may lead to flaring of tempers for a person who is known to be docile and quiet. Additionally, moving an elderly person from the city home to a serene care home can have a positive influence on their moods and behavior (Jackson 2003). As noted earlier, it is important to consider the specific needs of the elderly people before taking them to a care home or moving them from one home to the other.Opportunities for physical activity/gardeningThirdly, care homes have a positive impact on the mental state of the elderly. In most cases, the elderly people are sensitive to small issues that may affect their stress levels leading to other medical complications. It is therefore advised that the elderly people stay in an environment that keeps their minds stable and away from stress (Purcell et al. 2001). Care homes located in the countryside where natural environment thrives are an appropriate place for the elderly. Here they are given the chance to relax and enjoy nature’s beauty. It is a common phenomenon to find the elderly in a care home waking up early just to see the sunrise. Such actions give them immense pleasure and satisfaction reducing the chances of elevated stress or depression (Neuman 2005). In this view, care homes have a positive effect to the elderly. Additionally, here the elderly are given time to exercise, thus improving their physical strength. By taking walks or even jogging, they are able to regain strength and enhance mobility. When undertaking such exercises, the elderly are accompanied by nurses who help them determine the right amount of strain for their bodies. This ensures that they are neither fatigued nor too dormant.
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